I’m not sure what dirt Mitch Marner’s camp has on Darren Dreger, but the TSN Insider was out doing his public relations rounds on behalf of the Leafs’ restricted free agent this morning. Dreger appeared on First Up on TSN 1050 and suggested that Marner (or one of the other major RFAs this summer) could warrant a contract as big as $13 or $14 million annually.
This offer sheet talk is getting way out of hand. $13-14,000,000 x 5?!? One of these guys is going to be made the highest paid player of all time, and a team is going to give up four firsts to do so? pic.twitter.com/vSO1HkY4Ac
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) June 25, 2019
First of all, this annual cap hit would place Marner (or any of those other guys like Matt Tkachuk, Mikko Rantanen, or Brayden Point) as the player with the biggest cap hit in the league. It would give them an annual salary higher than Connor McDavid’s increasingly-modest looking $12.5 million figure.
Beyond that, the five-year thing is baffling to me. Why on earth would a team give up four first-round picks for the luxury of signing a guy to the largest single-season cap hit in the league while also only locking that player up for five years? You’d be paying the highest premium imaginable for the player while also only locking up one unrestricted free agent year.
Literally nobody else is reporting that mega offer-sheets are likely this off-season. At this point, Dreger’s discussion of Marner and the other 2019 RFAs is beyond a joke.
If we were actually living in a world in which a team would pull the trigger on that kind of offer-sheet, would it even be a bad thing for the Leafs? I mean, you obviously laugh at $13 million per year over five years, drive Mitch to the airport, and take on your four first-round picks.
Friedman says other teams are telling that if some team does offersheet Marner and TOR doesn't match, they're terrified of what TOR might do with extra cap space, picks, and a vengeance.
— James (@Account4hockey) June 24, 2019
Kyle Dubas with four extra first-rounders plus the open cap room which was supposed to be allocated for Marner would be a hell of a thing to witness.